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Mol Microbiol. 2004 Jan;51(2):307-17.

Redundancy in the function of mitochondrial phosphate transport in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Arabidopsis thaliana.

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Centre de Génétique Moléculaire, Avenue de la Terrasse, 91198- Gif sur Yvette, France.


Most cellular ATP is produced within the mitochondria from ADP and Pi which are delivered across the inner-membrane by specific nuclearly encoded polytopic carriers. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, some of these carriers and in particular the ADP/ATP carrier, are represented by several related isoforms that are distinct in their pattern of expression. Until now, only one mitochondrial Pi carrier (mPic) form, encoded by the MIR1 gene in S. cerevisiae, has been described. Here we show that the gene product encoded by the YER053C ORF also participates in the delivery of phosphate to the mitochondria. We have called this gene PIC2 for Pi carrier isoform 2. Overexpression of PIC2 compensates for the mitochondrial defect of the double mutant Deltamir1 Deltapic2 and restores phosphate transport activity in mitochondria swelling experiments. The existence of two isoforms of mPic does not seem to be restricted to S. cerevisiae as two Arabidopsis thaliana cDNAs encoding two different mPic-like proteins are also able to complement the double mutant Deltamir1 Deltapic2. Finally, we demonstrate that Pic2p is a mitochondrial protein and that its steady state level increases at high temperature. We propose that Pic2p is a minor form of mPic which plays a role under specific stress conditions.

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